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Giving it a shot

Posted by aaressler (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 31, 07 at 13:46

I stumbled onto this forum, and was instantly motivated to give this a try. I have tried OAMC a few years ago, but never got too far into it. I have 4 little boys, ages 8, 6, 3, and a newvborn. The convenience of OAMC/OAWC is something that I am really drawn to. Not to mention the fact that my husband and I both work, and eat out at breakfast and lunch for a grand total of $20 a day for 4 meals between the two of us. And when you think about spending that kind of money just to be filled with junk food....YUCK! I have decided to start again, but am going to do just a few things to begin with.

I am hoping to get anyone who reads this motivated also, so we can get this forum moving ;)

Here is what I am doing today:

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (link posted below)

http://www.30daygourmet.com/Contest/Recipe_of_the_Month_Winners/2002_11_Recipe.asp

The recipe is SO easy. I hope that they taste as good as they smell! I am making 40 of these today, and have the first 6 in the oven...really wish I had bought a bigger muffin pan! LOL!

Breakfast Burritos

http://www.recipezaar.com/87370

I plan to make 24 of these.

and finally...

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

http://www.30daygourmet.com/eNewsletters/Archived_Newsletters/Articles_2002_08/Blueberry_Casserole.asp

I plan to make 24 servings of this, and split them up into the 6 serving portions and freeze them in disposable aluminum 8x8 pans.

So, if you are lurking out there reading this, and would like to post anything, please do!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Giving it a shot

Hi, I've been lurking and hoping this forum will pick up too! So far I've picked up one book "Dinner is Ready", and recipes from the 30daygourmet site also. Their books will probably be next on my list. I've also been stocking up on containers & bags on sale. I'm looking at freezing food for my Mom, who lives several hours away. She's getting up there, and has started having medical problems. After her surgery last month, I tried to introduce "the idea" to her. Unfortunately, the swiss steak recipe I tried was not very tasty. The big hit was meatloaf. I made her up some in the small bread tins. She likes it in heated sandwiches. I'm looking to adapt it for us also. The challenge is- we are 95% vegetarian, organic as much as we can, and are trying to do away with packaged, processed foods. So I'm also liking to make our own mix foods. Let's hope this forum perks up! Patricia


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RE: Giving it a shot

I have to admit I tried it, it was really not easy for me. BUT i have now tried (tonight will be our second time) those take and bake monthly cooking places. Same concept, but they do all the prep work. LOVED IT. Come of the meals were just OK, none were WOW to us, but they were different than what we'd usually make (the same 7-10 meals every week!!). Maybe once I've done this a little more I'll try to do it at home, maybe not since this is easy, they come up with the recipes, and THEY CLEAN UP AFTER ME!!!

Vickey-MN


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RE: Giving it a shot

Many years ago, working, widowed and with 3 kids, I was accidentally doing this. Every Sunday afternoon I just had fun cooking various things that we liked. Then all week we would heat-up and add a fresh salad. I even taught my children starting at about age 7 that they could make dinner one evening a week. It could be soup with a peanut butter sandwich but it was their responsibility. With a microwave in the house, it worked great.

By the way, all three are wonderful cooks now. (2 boys and a girl)

One suggestion, just cook things you enjoy. Coming home tired and looking at something that you don't care for doesn't work.


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RE: Giving it a shot

I usually cook on Sunday for the week. I brown-bag lunch so making 2 or 3 things provides some variety. Every other week I bake bread, too.
Some of my favorite things are:
large roasts - dinner that day and slice for sandwiches, curries, stir-fry etc.
Rice - steamed or cooked in a crock-pot - perfect for adding to stews or soups or stir fry.
if I roast a chicken I always make stock and either freexe or make soup. Many recipes call for chicken broth, it's convenient to have on hand and your own broth is much lower in sodium. I use a pressure cooker - stock in 30 minutes!
When tomatoes are plentiful I make pasta sauce and freeze.
I use my trusty Fannie Farmer and Joy of Cooking constantly. There are alot of suggestions on how to use leftover roasts.
Crock pots are also great for making steel cut oats for breakfast.
This past week I soaked a cup of dried pea beans during the day, that night I brought them to a boil and cooked for 10 minutes, dumped them in the crock pot with sliced carrot, celery, onion and whatever other vegetables I had on hand, added a small can of spanish tomato sauce, a kielbasa, oregano and water to cover. Cooked on low overnight and took it to work in my thermos for lunch.
I love my crock-pot!


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RE: Giving it a shot

One of my favorite things to freeze and work with is left-over ham. I baked an entire ham for Easter recently.

The following day I took the left-over dinner rolls and split them, spread mustard on one side and placed ham and a slice (actually half a slice since the dinner rolls were pretty small) of Swiss Cheese. Wrap these sandwiches in aluminum foil.

I take a nice size chunk of aluminum foil and use the edge of the counter as a straight edge to make the pieces smaller to fit the dinner roll sandwiches. Wrap each sandwich and place in a slow cooker on LOW. Within the hour they are ready and can keep all day, depending on when people want to grab a snack.

Next, I freeze slices, pieces & diced ham (for sandwiches, split pea and potato soup and au gratan potatoes.)

The Au Gratan Recipe is probably my favorite. I just made it. It is so easy to do in the crock pot, and I swear the flavor is even better the next day.

Ham & Au Gratans in the Crock Pot

Slice about 3 cups of potatoes and dice one medium onion.
Place in a crock pot that has either been lined with aluminum foil or a Reynolds Crock Pot Liner.

In a large bowl: combine one can of cream of mushroom (sometimes I use cream of celery instead) 1 teaspoon garlic powder, at least two cups of shredded cheddar cheese and at least 1 cup of cut up ham (I usually use 2 cups) and 1/2 cup of water. Pour over potatoes and onions in the crock pot. Add pepper and mix with a wooden spoon.

Cook on low for about 4 hours. It will be done when the potatoes are soft, so it depends on how thin you slice them.

I have never tried freezing this recipe. I am leary of freezing cooked potatoes. I like having the rest of the ham on hand in the freezer instead of eating it everyday til it's gone. You'd be so sick of ham you wouldn't want it again for a long time. So next, it is time to make a turkey or something else for variety!


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RE: Giving it a shot

You could make things that 'taste better a few days later.' I am going to start doing this.

Sicilian meatballs- you will not regret making these, and where I live, sausage is cheaper than hamburger. If you have a family of four, double the recipe- make these with spaghetti one night, then use the leftover the next day in subs:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/102117

Lots of soups are best left in the fridge a few days. They never last that long here, but I do make pureed soups several times a week. From now on, I'll make a double batch so I can put some away in the fridge.

I make baked beans once a week, and that is a money and effort saver. I cheat, and I boil the beans for 40 mins in the morning to save time. I also don't use pork, usually. My grandfather would turn in his grave!

Another thing to do: check out the local bakeries- ours has a buy one loaf, get one free on Saturday, and you can put one or both in the freezer.

I'm a canning junkie, so I do usually have a jar of soup waiting to be gobbled up in the pantry. Although right now, I only have one!


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RE: Giving it a shot

Just wanted to say that I used the last of my Easter Ham (leftovers frozen of course) for Mother's Day Brunch Ham & Au Gratans.

Our groups totals around 15 people and we used to go out for Brunch on Mother's Day. But the wait for a table got to be so long that last year I decided to invite everyone for Brunch at my house. Here is what I served this year:

Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled Eggs with a little salsa in it
Bacon
Sausage
Toast (white, wheat, cinn/raisin)
Ham & Au Gratan Potatoes
cinnamon rolls
strawberries & cut melon
coffee, milk, orange juice, apple juice & coffee

The eggs were made just before everyone arrived and were kept warm in my Nesco roaster (with the buffet inserts)

Bacon & sausage were cooked the night before; microwaved and held in the buffet server.

Ham & au gratan potatoes were assembled early in the morning and cooked in the crock pot. (Potatoes peeled the night before, onion cut the night before, ham taken out of the freezer the night before)

I had a toasting station set up at it's own table for do-it-yourself.

Cut up fruit and cinnamon rolls were brought by guests, as well as juice.

Mom & I started doing dishes out of habit and were shooed out of the kitchen by my nephew and son, which was nice.

My brother is going through tough times financially and I know we used to pay almost $15 per person for brunch on Mother's Day. He is divorced with four kids. But money aside, it is more comfortable hanging out at my house and not waiting for a table or searching for parking spots and being able to linger afterwards as long as we want.


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RE: Giving it a shot

I'm not an organized OAMC person, but I tend to do this "sorta."

For instance, when I cook spaghetti, I cook a huge batch and freeze 4-5 dinners worth of sauce.

When I marinade a flank steak, I marinade 5. I cook one and freeze the other 4 in the marinade.

The last time I made burrito filling, I made extra and froze it with the tortillas and cheese even. When it was time to make the meal I only had to add a can of enchilada sauce and bake.

I generally just see what is on sale and then make that in bulk. What generally happens is that I cook one night a week, cook something that was frozen 4 nights a week and eat out the other two.


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RE: Giving it a shot

I just stumbled into this forum also, and I think it's a great idea - especially in this turbulent economy because you can save so much electricity or gas, not to mention time. I remember a single friend of mine who made several casseroles on Saturdays while she was cleaning house. She froze individual portions. That way, she had dinner nearly prepared when she got home on weekdays, and if she had guests for dinner she simply pulled out as many servings as she needed.

At one of the local community colleges I saw a class on Once MONTH cooking. The only problem with that for me is that I only have a freezer on my fridge and not a free-standing one. But I like the concept.


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